7 Easy Steps for Creating a Co-Working Business
Co-working has been popular for several years. It combines the independence of working from home with the convenience of working in an office, but without the politics that often goes with it. Surprisingly, the business itself is quite easy to set up. The hardest part is finding and equipping a suitable location; but even here, with a bit of ingenuity, a low cost space could be converted into a 21st century entrepreneurial community, much like the artisan communes of the 1970s.
There are seven steps to starting your own co-working business:
1. Find a clean, open, floor space. The size will depend on the number of hot-desk spaces you want to have. Make sure that there is at least one restroom (toilet(te)).
Suburbs will be cheaper than big cities, and farm buildings cheaper still. Make sure that it’s easy to find and has plenty of parking. You could start by approaching a firm or a farmer that seems to have unused space; but check with the zoning office to make sure that you’re not violating any codes before you do so.
2. Recruit a half dozen friends to share the initial rental costs. It shouldn’t amount to more than $100-$200 per month each. A little less partying will easily cover that.
3. Install an ADSL line with a modem and router, and wireless printer. Additional lines and printers can be installed as demand grows.
4. Obtain secondhand tables and chairs; nothing fancy. You can dress them up with leftovers from fabric shops if you wish.
5. Attend some local networking events to promote your new space. Emphasize the loneliness of being a one-man band, and how co-working not keeps down the cost of an office, but also provides a like-minded group on which to bounce off ideas.
6. Ask vendors to place and stock food and water vending machines. As your income grows, you can add a fridge and a microwave.
Invite other providers to join in the fun by bringing complementary services that will make the lives of hot-deskers easier, such as child care, massage (for those achy shoulders) and yoga.
7. As more people join, whether as full-time members, or part-timers who rent space for only an hour or a few days, add more tables and chairs. You could even provider full-timers with permanent desks.
Your customers will tell you the other services they would like to have.